Repost from the old site.
Lack of regulation in capitalism leads to the ability to roll up huge gains in wealth for those at the top of the food chain, and also leads to huge economic disasters on a national scale such as we are experiencing now in the US.
The italicized portion of the previous sentence is precisely why business, the rich, the media and the plutocratic political parties in the US (originally the Republican Party, but now both parties), support the deregulation of the capitalist system in the US and all over the world.
The verdict is in on the deregulation of capitalism that has been the rage all over the world for the past 30 years. Almost everywhere it has been tried, it has caused massive discrepancies in wealth distribution. The top 20% of the income earners everywhere on Earth have benefited, and the bottom 80% have lost out.
That’s why Latin America has been voting in leaders who have campaigned on platforms that can be roughly translated as, “The Hell with neoliberalism”. Far from being Leftists or Communists, most of the new Latin American Left is simply objecting to the observable failure of 20-30 years of neoliberalism in Latin America and trying to fashion some sort of social democratic alternative.
Even honest proponents of neoliberalism in the US media like Fareed Zakaria have admitted that neoliberalism in Latin America has failed. The usual lie has been, “It hasn’t had enough time to work yet.”
This is a lie.
Neoliberalism in Latin America is working exactly as planned.
It was designed to enrich the top 20% and impoverish just about everyone else. Everyone on Earth, neoliberalism has devastated the public sector, wages, working conditions, schools, health care, etc. It has probably killed millions of people. In fact, there is good evidence that it is killing millions of people all over the world every single year.
Read about the history of the US economy in the late 1800’s as it lurched from one panic to another, with wild run-ups in wealth for the rich in between.
Unregulated capitalism is like a cocaine addict with a trust fund. He can have a real wild blast as long as the money lasts, get high as a damned kite and soar to the skies. There’s almost no limit to how high he can get. When the crash comes, he’s going to be pounded physically and psychologically, and his trust will be drained. Freemarketeers argue that it’s worth it for the fun of the run.
Regulated capitalism is like a middle-aged man who drinks a couple of glasses of wine a night. He’s not able to get rip-roaring drunk like he did in his youth, nor is he able to drink his troubles away, but the hangovers are nonexistent, and he’s not committing slow suicide anymore either.
Regulation is like a fog layer on the coast in a Mediterranean climate. It takes the extreme heat and cold out of a climate and leaves it at a moderate, some would say boring, middle.
During the Roaring 20’s, people forget 80% of the US population actually lost money. It was only “roaring” for the top 20%. Nevertheless, most Americans think of this as a time unlimited prosperity. As we can see, not only is America governed and reported on exclusively by the Rich, but even our very history is the History of the Rich.
The Great Depression was directly caused by unregulated capitalism in the US, despite the desperate efforts of rightwing economist Chicago School professional liars to lie their way out of the facts. In the 1930’s, a huge regulatory structure was put into place in part to prevent a second Great Depression from occurring.
It’s worked well, but now a lot of the regulations that were put in post-Depression have been whittled away, such as the Glass-Segall Act, that attempted to build a wall between commercial and investment banking. That way, if high-risk investment banking goes under (as it is prone to) it doesn’t take down the commercial banking sector (where Mrs. Jones has her nest egg) with it.
Deregulated capitalism quickly leads to a state of affairs where you have wild economic growth and bubbles followed by bubble deflations and panics.
It’s no way to run an economy, but this is the way every capitalist on Earth wants it.
Every capitalist on Earth is like a gambler in a casino with a credit card with no limits. Sensible nations do not listen to what the capitalists want – they never want anything good for the nation in the long run. The capitalist perennial children need to be continuously regulated on a short leash by regulatory adults in government in order to have any semblance of a decent society under capitalism.
Since 1980 and the beginnings of massive deregulation, the wages of 80% of the US population (nonsupervisory workers) have declined by 1% in constant dollars. They should have been going up in tandem with productivity increases, and productivity has gone up a lot in 28 years. 100% of the productivity increases in the last 28 years went to the top 20%, and 0% to the bottom 80%.
Before anyone screams race, this is the way unregulated capitalism works in any society – even an all-White one. The bottom 80% of the US population that got screwed massively in the Roaring 20’s and resulting capitalist hangover called the Great Depression was overwhelmingly White.
A regulated capitalism would look a lot like what we had in the US in the 1950’s and especially 1960’s and 1970’s. It works pretty well for a capitalist system. It’s true that it tends to stifle massive wealth run-ups and bubbles (almost always caused by massive fraud anyway) but it also makes for a smoother ride and much fewer crashes, panics, recessions and depressions.
The Taoists discuss the Middle Way. So it is in capitalist economics as in the rest of life. “Live fast, die young and leave a pretty corpse,” sounds romantic at 18, but a 50-yr-old who makes such a statement is a moron. Our economy has been run by 18-yr-olds for decades now. As long as we have a capitalist economy, it’s time for some adult supervision.